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Needy Pasco teens may miss gifts this year

Christmas is only two days away, and there are still about 60 local kids who might not find anything under the tree.

Santa's Angel Program of Pasco County, a nonprofit group that collects donations for needy children, has dozens of gift requests for local kids that have not been filled, coordinator Marcia Snow said.

"It's mostly teens on the trees," said Snow, referring to the gift tags on Santa's Angel trees at four west Pasco stores. "They need clothes, just like the little ones."

Snow expected the souring economy would make donations harder to come by this year. She dialed back her expectations and took on only 100 kids this year, down from 183 last year.

And still they're struggling to meet that goal.

Most of the kids are referred by their principals, guidance counselors or school nurses. And unlike some other programs, Santa's Angels helps teens.

"People don't realize, we are the only program that does teenagers as long as they are in school," Snow said. "It's the teens that never get recognized."

There are two gift tags per child: toy requests and clothing requests. Shoppers can leave the items at the customer service desk of the Beall's or Wal-Mart store where they picked up the tags.

"Anything I have left over this year will go toward Guardian ad Litem children (in the child welfare system), and also I want to donate clothing and stuff like that to the homeless shelter," Snow said.

How to help

Gift tags with requested donations are on the Santa's Angel trees at the following locations:

• Beall's at U.S. 19 and State Road 52

• Beall's at 7201 State Road 54

• Wal-Mart at U.S. 19 and Ridge Road

• Wal-Mart at State Road 54 and Little Road

For information call Marcia Snow at (727) 868-2413.

Needy Pasco teens may miss gifts this year 12/22/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 10:21am]
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